That sums up our passage from Whitby to Lowestoft.  190 Nautical miles in 36hrs.

This was by far the most challenging leg so far.  We left Whitby with 2 plans – Lowestoft for the long haul or Bridlington.  No sooner than we were 5 miles form Whitby, we were in the thick of a thunder and lightning storm.  Never been in one at sea before so was rather concerned as to what might happen if we were struck.  We headed closer to the shore to get amongst some higher features and I turned off all unnecessary electronics devices and put them in the oven.  The idea was this might act as a Faraday cage.  I had read this somewhere but couldn’t make my mind up if I was supposed to use the fridge instead.   We got through the first squall only to run into another half an hour later but this one wasn’t as bad.

Squall approaches

Squall approaches

I said to Scott that if the weather doesn’t improve then we make for port.  It didn’t so we headed to Bridligton on a fair tide.  I phone in within sight of the harbour only to be told by the harbour master that we could not get in due to crowding.  There were no other ports that we could get into until Lowestoft, so the long one it was.

This turned out to be a great run, passing the Humber, through large ship anchorages and past an oil rig.  At about 0330hrs Scott took over as we headed for the East Anglian coast and I  got 3hrs sleep.  Waking up to beautiful hot sunshine, we plodded along at 5 knots about 3 mile offshore and sailed into the Eastern Hemisphere, past a massive wind farm and a couple of shipping routes.

The best of the weather

The best of the weather

The wind was slowly building and the sea state started to creep up with it.  As we turned southwards to Lowestoft, we headed into the winds and a gathering sea.  Spray went everywhere and with green water over the decks we discussed our route into port.  Lowestoft isn’t an easy port to enter as its surrounded by sand banks.  It basically meant heading south past the town, doing a u-turn and then going up a narrow channel that headed NE.  The waves thankfully abated for this and we made port.

I hope Lowestoft has seen better days because its like Zombieland now. What a let down.  Alcohol plays a major part in peoples lives here and the town looks like its been kicked to death.

The last shipping forecast we recorded at sea stated gales were on there way.  This was on Tuesday 8th July.  We are still here and yes the gales have arrived.  It would have been foolish to risk getting caught out crossing the Thames and the Dover Straits in foul weather but this is not the nicest of places to stop.

The plan is now to sail directly to Dartmouth some 280 nautical miles away and will take 60hrs.  The great thing about the south coat is that if this passage is disrupted then the ports are plentiful to ensure a safe haven.